Mets claim hard-throwing reliever Stephen Ridings off waivers from Yankees

Stephen Ridings pitching with Yankees in 2021
Stephen Ridings pitching with Yankees in 2021

The Mets have claimed hard-throwing right-handed reliever Stephen Ridings off waivers from the Yankees.

Ridings' stuff is legitimate, with a fastball that has reached as high as 101 mph, as noted by SNY contributor Joe DeMayo.

Ridings, 27, missed the entire 2022 season due to a right shoulder impingement and tossed 2.0 scoreless innings over two rehab outings in September.

His only taste of big league action came with the Yankees in 2021, when he had a 1.80 ERA over five relief appearances while walking two and striking out seven. During that stint, Ridings' fastball averaged 97.1 mph and his slider averaged 85.6 mph.

In five minor league seasons with the Yankees, Chicago Cubs, and Kansas City Royals, Ridings -- a native of Huntington, NY -- has a 4.19 ERA and 1.25 WHIP with 204 strikeouts in 144 innings.

As someone with minor league options remaining, the Mets can send Ridings from the majors to the minors during the 2023 season without the risk of losing him to another team.

The Mets recently re-signed closer Edwin Diaz and will also have Drew Smith returning to the bullpen in 2023, but things are murky overall, with Seth Lugo, Trevor May, Adam Ottavino, Trevor Williams, and Joely Rodriguez all free agents.